Fighting to ride up rocky mountain terrain and gliding down large-scale territory is made easier by one of the leading trends in the bike industry – the dropper seatpost. “For a seasoned rider, the
dropper seatpost becomes almost as valuable as shifting”, said Preston Martin, Vice President, Bicycle Technologies International, a leading distributor of bicycle products. “Cyclists that want to make climbing as efficient as possible are taking advantage of this technology”.
At the forefront of this innovation is L.H. Thomson, Inc., a renowned manufacturer of patented stems and seatposts that ships over 120,000 bike components parts each year to more than 30 countries.
The company recently unveiled the Elite Dropper Seatpost. To operate the seatpost, the cyclist simply pushes a lever mounted onto the handlebar. This easy action allows the rider to manually control the height of the seat, without stopping during a climb or descent. The mechanical heart of the Elite
Dropper is a nitrogen cartridge pressurised to 200 psi, which acts as the return spring, inside the shaft. Controlling the friction of this shaft is critical to the user experience. “Cyclists associate any kind of free play or noise with poor quality”, explained Paul Humphreys, Global Market Manager, Bicycle, Saint-Gobain. Bearings, housed within the shaft of the seatpost have a direct impact on the user’s experience, by controlling the amount of friction as the seat post moves up and down. “You don’t want to feel a lot of flex in the seatpost while you’re tackling a difficult terrain”, said Martin.
To offer a product that was reliable, dependable and free of play, Thomson chose Saint-Gobain’s NORGLIDE® composite bearings. The bearings feature a low-friction polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) liner attached to a light-weight aluminum case. The custom-developed PTFE layer acts as a lubricant, offering consistently low friction values throughout the lifetime of the component. In addition, the metal backing ensures it can handle the stress of a bumpy ride.
“These bearings are custom made to our exact specifications to keep the seatpost running seamlessly for a long time in the field”, said David Parrett, Product Manager, L.H. Thomson. “The composite bearings are designed to be maintenance free, so cyclists can focus on what matters most - the ride”.